Hong Kong is a thriving society built by immigrants – including refugees – from almost all the countries in the world. Our community has always welcomed asylum seekers, providing them with temporary protection and emergency assistance, in spite of inadequate refugee legislation. Vision First is an NGO assisting those forced to flee their countries to escape persecution, violence and torture. These are desperate victims often unable to return to their home country for many years, if ever. In our second year of operation, we have established our volunteer organization as a caring, actively engaged and responsive service for over 200 clients. We have set up a dozen homes, run a year-long food program and provide advocacy and outreach services to our clients scattered throughout the territory from Hung Hom to Yung Long. Vision First takes pride in offering rapid solutions to daily life crises, as well as addressing protracted challenges of the medical, legal and educational kind. Through our continuous interactions, we are reminded that refugees have fled unimaginable horrors, sometimes suffering agonizing years before reaching safety. Most are victims of trauma or torture and all arrived with no personal belongings, after their families were attacked and assets plundered.
Forced against their will to embark on an exile for which they made no preparation, refugee families suddenly find themselves in a foreign community, without the means or connections to integrate. Since they are not allowed to work, despite being legal residents, they survive in a frustrating state of powerlessness. Once their meager savings are depleted, they seek support from our community, with the distressing realization that they are ineligible for social security assistance (CSSA) as non-permanent residents. Excluded from a familiar support network, they become prey to poverty and despair. This is especially so for those with children. Within a few months their dignity and self-worth are crushed with a devastating and enduring effect on their children, who are unable to cope with the social and economic void around them. Without sufficient means to support themselves these educated people live in substandard lodging and on the street. They rely on donations to meet their families’ basic needs.
Vision First is particularly concerned about the families with young children. These families need immediate financial assistance to protect them from further perils such as malnutrition, sickness and isolation. We have identified a number of families teetering on the edge of despair and – as a caring community – we must do whatever we can to stop their suffering. Seeking ongoing support for these children and parents, Vision First is launching the REFUGEE CHILD SPONSORSHIP program to directly link donor families with refugee families. This will enable our commitment to support these children so they can look towards the future with some optimism. To learn more about this special initiative and how you can make a tangible difference, please read the information below.
The aim of this program: Refugee Child Sponsorship APPEAL
How you can help: Refugee Child Sponsorship FORM